Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hey look Kids, Big Ben!

It's time to take back my blog from Cali.  It has actually been 5 1/2 weeks since Jason left, but she is fine.  I went to visit him 2 weeks ago and so now we start the blog journal of the trip.  It will definitely take a few posts.  3 cities and 2's a lot of ground!
I flew in to London. Jason is working in Chester, England which is about 4 hours north and west of London (it is about 3 miles from Wales).  So Jason took the train to London to meet me.  We spent the first weekend there.  London is beautiful, big city and I enjoyed our time there, but it was a big I was ready to leave.  I most enjoyed our second weekend!  I arrived late on Friday night so our adventures started on Saturday morning. But sadly, it turned out to be a rainy Saturday. Luckily, it was the ONLY day it rained while we were in the UK, but it poured this day. So I went back to a few spots on Monday to get photos in the sunshine.  But we did make it to the Tower Bridge on the rainy day. We stopped by Borough Market, which was a lot of fun.  Nothing but fresh produce, homemade items and seafood/meat.  I have a ton of photos that I just didn't process for the blog.  But the fresh scallops give you an idea.
 This is the best shot of St. Paul's cathedral. The day was nasty.
 But we walked around the Tower of London and explored the Tower bridge for as long as we could stand. The rain would stop periodically, but it basically rained all day.
 The Tower Bridge was awesome though.
We went to Savoy Grill for dinner in the was very yummy!
The next day, the sun came out and we hit the road again.  This city is HUGE!  Don't underestimate its size. We had a wonderfully situated hotel right next to the National Gallery. So we were able to walk to a lot of the sights, but we did use the Underground a lot.
We were heading toward Big Ben and Parliament and I noticed a crowd at the Horse's guard and it hit me! I had read they do the 'changing of the cavalry' at  10AM on Sundays..could it be?  I rush across the street (much to Jason's chagrin..I tend to loose all self preservation skills when confronted with something potentially super cool) and get us a spot on the sideline.
The first group of horses come in and line up..there is a lot of yelling of commands. Then they stand here..for 15 minutes.  Which is quite difficult for horses.
Then from the other side, another group comes in and file in to face them.
They both square off and wait another 15 minutes.

The horses were all decked out in their finest
And then they filed out and we all had a photo op.

Then we set off for Big Ben (I do love National Lampoon's European vacation..we quoted it a lot on this trip)

Then after a quick stop at Buckingham Palace (this was actually as close as we got..the crowds were insane)
We hit the Underground to head off to see George..but alas he was at his grandmother's home apparently and didn't come say hi..but we enjoyed his future home quite a bit! Kensington Palace
 The inside that was on the tour was quite boring...but the outside was beautiful.  We had lunch at the Orangery in the gardens which was definitely one of the best meals of the trip!
And Jason had his first "clotted cream" experience.  Clotted cream is just a really creamy base for ice cream/fudge/etc.  Makes it richer..I suppose.   He loved it.
That night we walked to the bridge near our hotel that crossed the River Thames.  The London Eye is to the right and Big Ben and Parliament are on the right side
 Then we walked to the coolest pub ever!

 One the way home, I wanted to go back to the bridge to get some night shots.  I think it turned out well enough.

 The next morning we had a train to catch to get to Chester, but we revisited the National Gallery for some sunshine photos. Every time I visit somewhere, there is always one place that surprises me. I didn't anticipate liking the National Gallery as much as I did.  It was gorgeous.

There is a huge statue in the middle that has large lions and from this photo you can see Big Ben peaking between the left lion on the statue
Jason decided we must conquer the lions...

 To give you an idea of the magnitude of this feat..this is Jason climbing up to it..All 6'5" of him..
 The little ledge below his foot at the bottom was probably 3-4 feet off the ground. So I got a significant boost!
So at this point, we hit the train station and head up to Chester.  That will be installment 2.  Jason worked for three days while I explored the town.  Cheers!


Hazel said...

So interesting. brings back memories of 1970 in London.
So glad you went!

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Great post! Love the pic of your hubby climbing the statue and hearing about your lack of self preservation skills when excited. Yeah, I can imagine horses standing around for 15-30 minutes is quite boring for them. :-)

Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

Great photos! Looks like you had a marvellous time. Maybe you'll get to see George next trip ;) Welcome home. Cali did a wonderful job looking after your blog while you were away :)

gyeong said...

Lucky you had so little rain. Did you have a greyhound at the 3 greyhounds? You're quick. I still haven't processed the pics from Grapehounds NY.

houndstooth said...

Oh, I would love the chance to see London! I'm glad the weather cooperated for you and you got to enjoy so much of the city, even if George didn't make an appearance. And I have to say, Jason makes the best faces!

Sue said...

Glad you enjoyed our little country:)

What Remains Now said...

The Three Greyhounds! That would be our favorite pub too. Love going on this tour with you.